LANDOVER — With only a few minutes left in Sunday’s blowout Washington Redskins loss to the New York Jets, the few thousand fans still watching began yelling a message to owner Dan Snyder.
“Sell the team!” came the chants, loud enough to be heard on the television broadcast. “Sell the team!”
There were plenty of moments throughout the Redskins‘ 34-17 loss that perfectly captured how far Washington has fallen as a franchise — perhaps none more pointed than the disgruntled fan base chanting for Snyder, who is just 54, to sell the franchise.
It’s a wish not likely to come true anytime soon, given Snyder’s long history of doing things his own way.
But the dwindling number of fans who still care — a season-low 56,426 were in attendance Sunday, and tickets were going for as low as $6 on StubHub before the game — are understandably frustrated.
They’re upset with a 1-9 record, with an offense that can’t get untracked and a defense that gives four touchdowns to Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (his career best).
The losses have had an effect on players who at times Sunday desperately looked like they couldn’t wait for the year to be over.
“It’s obviously been a really tough season,” said linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who is one of the longest-tenured Redskins. “There’s no other way around it. Yeah, we were 3-13 in 2013, but right now, it’s pretty darn tough.”
The loss to the Jets — a team arguably as dysfunctional as Washington — raises the real possibility the Redskins could finish the season with just one win. With six games left, Washington is off to its worst start since 1961, when the team finished 1-12-1.
Against the Jets, the Redskins committed a series of gaffes — from kicker Dustin Hopkins clanking a 29-yarder to too many defensive mistakes in the secondary. The Redskins also had 11 penalties, marking the third time this year that the team drew more than 10 flags.
When interim head coach Bill Callahan stepped up to the podium for his post-game press conference, he said he was particularly disappointed by how his team looked coming out of its bye week.
“We were just not on top of our game in any way, shape, or form,” he said. “We got off to a rough start early in the first quarter and it kind of dovetails into the second.”
Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins struggled in his home debut. Named the permanent starter last week, the 22-year-old threw touchdowns, but he was under pressure all afternoon. He was sacked six times, and at one point, pleaded to his offensive lineman on the sideline to ask them what he could do to help them. The Ohio State product threw an ugly interception in the fourth quarter, as well.
Haskins, however, did help the Redskins finally end their touchdown drought — finding running back Derrius Guice for a 45-yard screen pass in the fourth quarter. The score ended a streak in which Washington went a full 16 quarters without a touchdown, the longest of any NFL team since at least 2001, according to ESPN.
The quarterback, who finished with 214 yards, also had moments that dazzled — launching a 67-yard bomb to Terry McLaurin in the second quarter, only for it to be called back by a holding penalty. Later on, he chucked a pass deep down the sideline, which McLaurin somehow snatched from a defender for 41 yards.
But more often, Redskins‘ mistakes overshadowed any signs of promise.
“It’s just disappointing when we know everything they’re doing and still shoot ourselves in the face with mental and little errors,” Guice said. “We knew everything they were doing and they did it just as we planned and we still didn’t stop, we still didn’t execute it.
“So that’s definitely on us.”
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